This week, former communications director under Donald Trump, Anthony Scaramucci, is promoting his new book, titled “The Blue-Collar President”. Although Scaramucci only survived 11 days in the chaotic and fractious White House, the title of his work alludes to what many on the right consider Trumpism to be. It is undoubtable to notice the Trump movement’s resounding popularity with the working-class flyover American states, particularly in the Rust Belt. This is due to his crusade on closing down the U.S/Mexico border with a wall, bringing manufacturing jobs back to the States, and, with his incessant attacks on the establishment in Washington and the press.
For a long time, many of the working-class population across the globe have felt disenchanted by the left’s metropolitan elite takeover. The Labour party here in the United Kingdom and the Democratic party across the pond, alongside many other left-wing parties in Europe, have failed to energise the supporters that the parties were founded to represent. Instead, the rural-urban divide has widened and tribalism has become the norm. It is not bad to be an urban-dwelling educated liberal, but you must not forget that the left has an original cause in tackling working-class issues.
I hate to say it; but I understand the cultural war that has escalated across the political world and why the right seems like a credible choice for many. Workers are fearmongered into believing immigration and open borders are cataclysmic for their country. They pine for the return of industrial communities and dread the rise of automation. The right has grasped these issues and created an anti-immigrant and protectionist dialogue as a result of people’s frustrations. Hence the rise of the likes of Donald Trump, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán government and the rise of UKIP in British parliament.
While the left grows popular amongst the middle classes and white-collar under-40s, the impassioned low-skilled labourer on a zero-hour contract struggles to make ends meet but finds comfort in a right-wing press. Only recently, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party was deemed the “party of quinoa” due to its attachment to affluent but liberal areas.
There is so many things that the left has to do to overthrow establishment politics. Corbyn will not win the embattled industrial heartlands of the north of England without promoting socialism as the better option. The Democrats will not find support in middle America if they continue to let Clintonian traditional Democrats hold the fort in Washington.
There is certainly a socialist and progressive movement coming. The power of Momentum, a Corbyn-affiliated socialist pressure group, were deemed vital in Corbyn’s electoral success last year. Furthermore, in the U.S, a record number of socialists who have taken zero funds from PACs and lobbyists are competing for a seat in the midterm elections next month. Socialism is coming for sure, but it is still not robust enough to topple a centrist elite.
There is one thing the left must do to bring back the worker’s vote. They must educate. It must be drilled into workers across the country that no migrant is going to take over their jobs. Immigration is a good thing for a nation. It helps uplift the economy. Furthermore, technology advancement and a shift in manufacturing norms must be taught to the industrial sector so a rapidly evolving automated society doesn’t seem so intimidating.
Most importantly, the far-right shift we are currently witness to is toxic. It puts voters in boxes and taints certain groups of people with incendiary labels. We must not return to 1930’s politics that caused so much hurt to our democratic values.
A democratic socialist movement is on the rise. Liberals and socialists must unite and find common ground so the working-classes see faith in them. Karl Marx famously urged all “workers around the world, unite”! But how are workers meant to find motivation to do so when the left who has inspired them beforehand now seems so complacent?